|June 8, 2021||[cresta-social-share]|
Advertising in South Africa has come a long way and undoubtedly left a mark in the minds and hearts of many. Sometimes you find yourself feeling nostalgic when walking down memory lane and remembering the ads you once loved, which you may never see again. Some of these have made us chuckle, left us warm and fuzzy inside, not forgetting those that have missed the mark or come across as insensitive. But there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?
For as long as we can all remember, brands have tried to get their products in front of people. There obviously weren’t a lot of ways back in the days so businesses chose to mass market using the biggest newspapers, widest-reaching radio stations or TV stations. Target marketing at the time wasn’t yet a thing. But despite that, those 2-3 mediums ensured you are reaching your target market, and most likely everyone else. That was and is the power of advertising.
Before the days of ad blockers, social media and video streaming, we had television adverts. Remember? Every 10 minutes, the soapie you were watching (let’s say Generations, which has now become Generations: The Legacy) would be interrupted by an ad break which you were forced to watch because there was no such thing as a smart TV for you to skip the ad. The young generation will never know the thrill of having to rush to the kitchen during an ad break to make a snack, and your sibling screaming “Thabo, it’s back on” during an episode of Amazing Race, Survivor or Isidingo. Simpler times indeed.
It’s always interesting to see how things have changed since we became more digital. Remember those big highway billboards on busy intersections? They’re still there by the way, but maybe they make less sense now that fewer people are travelling to work.
What about those glossy ads in our favourite women’s lifestyle magazines, they also no longer seem as impactful now that it’s become 100x easier and more cost-effective to use your phone for… just about anything! Technology, digital and more especially, Covid-19, has changed the world. And of course, advertising. It really isn’t what it used to be. It is not supposed to; just like you aren’t the same person you were five years ago. Advertising has changed, for the better.
The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted media consumption across every screen, increasing time spent with TV, mobile and mobile video, reports Forbes. The new normal (no, not the possibility of facing jail time when caught without a mask) is accelerating existing trends for mobile, which will continue to experience positive momentum post-pandemic.
In a report by Accenture, the digital advertising wave continues to wash across the advertising landscape. And for good reason: Done right, it can be a huge win. Digital advertising opens a whole new world of opportunity for consumers: a way to more precisely, and in exciting new ways, reach and engage with consumers.
This means that businesses must change to respond to this new wave of digital distraction. “We have evolved from advertising traditionally being about creating awareness and brand love, to creating content and customer experiences. Ad agencies were geared to create awareness and brand love, and not experiences. So, we have two choices; we can either be despondent about the future or be excited about the idea that, for the first time ever, everybody and anybody cares about advertising. Thus, we can be open to collaborating with artists, influencers and content creators to grow and sustain the industry,” says an Advertising CEO in a Between 10 and 5 article.
According to Media Online, a survey of more than 25 000 consumers in 30 markets conducted in March 2020 revealed that social media app WhatsApp has experienced the greatest gains due to COVID-19. Facebook on the other hand has seen a 40% increase in usage. This has grown from 27% at the beginning of the pandemic to 41% in March last year.
The study further found that across all messaging platforms, the growth has been the largest in the 18–34-year-old age group. WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram saw a 40%+ increase in usage from this same demographic for the working-class demographic and the household decision making population
Consumers have been prioritising convenience and personalisation when it comes to shopping for quite some time now, but the pandemic has been a catalyst for behavioral change when it comes to shopping, reports Forbes. From bulk-buying to online shopping, people are changing what they’re buying, when, and how. According to McKinsey, 10 years of e-commerce adoption was compressed into three months.
In the 2020 South African Digital Customer Experience Report, Sam Wilson-Späth, Head of Digital at Woolworths echoes these stats and says the multinational retail company experienced phenomenal growth in online shopping during lockdown, particularly in the foods area. “Demand was so high that we launched a Click n Collect option across the country to facilitate the huge demand for new delivery slots. This was a project that had been on our roadmap for a while, but lockdown made it an urgent priority… and was rolled out in three weeks!” she says.
Screenshot from the Covid-19 and e-commerce survey
The growth of e-commerce is evident; so much so that social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have jumped into the social commerce game in one form or another.
People are always on the go, and on their phones. You’re probably reading this on your phone too. This means business have to learn how to cater to a smartphone, smart TV, YouTube consuming market.
Screenshot from the Digital 2020 April Global Statshot Report
Over the past six years, smartphone screen time has multiplied by more than 1.5x, steadily rising from 2.5 hours per day in 2014, to a new high of 4 hours and 18 minutes per day in 2020. Approximately 47 minutes (20%) of time spent on smartphones is dedicated to watching video, reports Technology Review. Whether it is short-form videos on TikTok, IG Stories or longer content like YouTube videos, video content is the future of social media content. According to a Cisco study, by 2022, 82% of all online content will be video content. This clearly shows how important it is to start creating engaging video content to stay relevant in the social media domain.
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It’s however, important to remember that the majority of South African’s still live below the poverty line. What we see on Twitter, for example, is not a full reflection of the average South African. Yes, things are moving to digital and technology has changed the way we consume content, but there are still millions of South Africans who still rely on traditional media for information. The key to combine the best of digital and that of traditional media to maximise impact by using augmented reality. “Brands looking to introduce augmented reality should remember that it’s less to do with the technology and everything to do with the delivery,” reports Memeburn.
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In an Accenture report, an executive said we should expect ads to be increasingly focused on the consumer, which means more personalised, targeted and valuable advertisements. Consumers will have to find something of value in ads for them to be effective and that means knowing more than the age, gender or race of your audience. “Companies not wired to be thinking about personalisation will really struggle going forward. Re-targeting is not the answer; consumers move on too quickly. They want the right message, at the right time, on the right device, right now.”
Innovative approaches and grit are what will set you apart. Companies and the industry at large face a choice: change their ways and reap the rewards, or muddle along and be, to put it mildly, mediocre. And which business can afford to not stand out these days? To stay competitive in this new business and economic environment requires new strategies and practices. To be great online, your brand needs to ensure all parts of the experience – from browsing, to social media, media buying, app development, content creation and e-commerce – are consistently strong. If you are considering digitalisation, let Wetpaint help you!
We are specialists that combine data analytics, creativity and technology to build and develop unique strategies with specific solutions in mind. We are the people you call to launch your brand. To put you on the first page of Google. To create a killer digital strategy. Let’s just say; we make the pots dala what they must! Driving new business, enhancing your brand awareness & improving your ROI is just a click away.